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Reference Material to Improve Reliability of Building Product VOC Emissions Testing



Cynthia H. Reed, Zhe Liu, Steve Cox, John Little


Building materials and products are a significant source of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the indoor environment. Reducing VOC emissions can improve occupant health and productivity, and perhaps support lower building ventilation requirements and associated energy usage. As a result, use of low VOC emission products is a key part of sustainable or “green” building labeling programs. To demonstrate that products have low emission rates, manufacturers rely on several different emissions assessment programs. Typically, these programs require a third-party independent laboratory measurement of a product’s VOC emission rate in a test chamber. Test chamber emission rates are then compared to pass/fail criteria to determine a product’s eligibility for a program label. However, existing green product labeling programs are not yet supported by consistent estimates of VOC emission rates. For example, it is common to see large coefficients of variation (> 40 %) in material emission rates measured between different laboratories for the same test material.
Furniture Design and Manufacturing Asia


Indoor Air, Product Emissions, Volatile Organic Compounds


Reed, C. , Liu, Z. , Cox, S. and Little, J. (2013), Reference Material to Improve Reliability of Building Product VOC Emissions Testing, Furniture Design and Manufacturing Asia, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created February 4, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017